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Originally published September 4, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified September 4, 2007 at 2:03 AM


Flashback | Political football now Inslee's game

Athlete: Jay Inslee, Ingraham, Class of 1969 Sports: Football, basketball High-school rewind: Threw interceptions on his first two passes...

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Athlete: Jay Inslee, Ingraham, Class of 1969

Sports: Football, basketball

High-school rewind: Threw interceptions on his first two passes as varsity quarterback. Later earned All-Metro League second-team honors and led Rams to league championship game. Helped Ingraham win basketball state title his senior year, capping a 23-0 season with 39-38 win over Hoquiam.

After high school: Tried out for the Washington basketball team as a walk-on his senior year, but was the last cut by coach Marv Harshman. Played on UW's first lacrosse club in 1972.

After athletics: Graduated from UW with a degree in economics, then earned a law degree from Willamette University in Salem, Ore. Practiced law for 20 years before beginning his political career. Has served as U.S. Representative from Washington's 4th Congressional District from 1992 to 1994, and from state's 1st Congressional District since 1999.

Personal: Inslee, 56, lives on Bainbridge Island and recently celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary with his wife, Trudi. They have three children: Jack, 30; Connor, 28; and Joe, 21.

Fast forward: Inslee vividly recalls his involvement in high-school sports and admits he's still trying to get over a "blown call" in the Metro championship football game against Chief Sealth.

He calls the Rams' state championship in basketball — a victory he clinched by stealing an inbounds pass in John Havlicek fashion — the "highlight of my whole life. Everything has been downhill from there."

To stay active, Inslee enjoys biking, skiing and hiking.

"I'm bad at a whole bunch of sports," he said.

Inslee also participates in the annual congressional baseball game and is a charter member of the Hoopaholics camp, a basketball charity that raises money for abused and neglected children.

Athletics for Inslee, it seems, serve as a cure for a slow litigation process in Washington D.C.

"We moved the ball 100 times faster at Ingraham than we do in Congress," he said.

Joshua Mayers

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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